Sunday 23rd October 2016                 Change text size:

Drinking Responsibly: Finding the Most Eco-Friendly Drink on the Planet

wine cellar by Danielle Scott via Flickr

“Drinking responsibly” is a phrase that’s often misrepresented. When you hear it, you probably think about avoiding drinking and driving, but there’s much more to it than that. You’ll want to consider the amount of alcohol consumed, the brands purchased, and most importantly, the eco-friendly nature of the drink.

When you’re trying to do right by Mother Earth, there are no limits to what you’ll do. You’re probably already recycling and composting, but if you’re really dedicated to changing your carbon footprint, you’ll switch to a more environmentally friendly drink of choice.

What Constitutes Environmentally Friendly Alcohol

Before you can determine the most eco-friendly drink on the planet, you’ll first need to recognize what makes it that way. It begins with the way the drink is processed. Some types of alcohol, such as beer, use a lot of energy in their production due to their required heating and cooling processes. Other alcohol manufacturers have little respect for the environment, and they’ll dump waste and refuse irresponsibly.

You might also consider the location of the manufacturing. It’s always wise to drink brands that were made locally because that means that the brand has less distance to travel in shipping. Since the average vehicle emits upward of 25 gallons of emissions per gallon of gas, a shorter distance cuts a brand’s carbon footprint significantly.

The packaging materials can also play a major role in your decision. Each container has perks and drawbacks. If possible, drink products that are made with easily recyclable containers, like glass and aluminum. Glass and aluminium manufacturers also tend to emit less pollution than plastic manufactures. However, plastic is more sustainable to ship than glass and aluminium, so choosing products that come in recycled plastic containers can be a greener solution.

Choosing organic drinks is also highly recommended. This indicates that there are fewer preservatives and more natural products included in the drink, so it decomposes more easily. This is particularly important for products like rum and tequila, which both have highly acidic content that can pollute waterways.

Some brands take things to the next level and sponsor certain sustainability initiatives. For example, they might include incentives for recycling the liquor container after consumption. When companies go out of their way to leave a better environmental mark, it’s usually a good indicator of sustainable processes.

Eco-Friendly Drinks to Fit the Bill

You can discover a few environmentally friendly drinks through your own research and preferences, but here are a few to get you started.

  • French Rabbit Wines: This high-quality product is delivered in recyclable Tetra Paks, which reduces packaging weight by more than 90 percent. They use recycled products for their packaging and participate in recycling initiatives.
  • New Belgium Brewing Company: When you’re looking for an eco-friendly beer company, New Belgium will hit the spot. They’ve been working on an initiative to improve their heating and cooling processes, which has cut their emissions by 33 percent and has made their packaging processes 22 percent more efficient.
  • Maker’s Mark: This is a bourbon manufacturer that seeks to use only local products and shipping methods in order to turn waste into energy.
  • Square One: If you like vodka, Square One is an organic company that gets one quarter of its energy from local wind farms. They also use lightweight bottles and recyclable corks.
  • Casa Noble: Tequila is highly acidic and its waste can be damaging to water and plant life, but this company has developed the first ever organic tequila product that’s much safer on the environment.

Look a little deeper into each of these companies to discover which products are most sustainable and eco-friendly without sacrificing the taste. This is a small decision that makes a big difference in the impact that you’ll leave on the earth.



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